The Hornets bullpen seemed more in control against the Golden West College Rustlers in their 5 – 1 loss on Monday afternoon. This game was the first of three in this Orange Empire Conference series and was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. but was advanced in hopes to avoid being rained out.
Pendley improved his performance by only allowing four runs, two walks, eight hits and striking out three batters as compared to his last outing against Cypress College when he gave up 10 runs in four innings of work. Pendley was also able to pick off the Rustlers baserunner, Vinny Tosti, at first base in the second inning after allowing him on base with a bunt base hit.
Following Pendley, Hornets relief pitcher, Steven Loera was able to minimize the Rustlers’ scoring capacity for the last 2.1 innings of the game. Loera gave up one run, three hits, one walk and struck out two batters.
Hornets Head Coach Chad Baum was satisfied with the effort his two pitchers made throughout the game despite the failed attempt to keep the score close.
“I thought they did a great job,” said Baum. “ They did have a positive day, but we gave up five [runs], and we only scored one [run]. Where we’re going, we gotta shut them out to win.”
On the other hand, the Rustlers pitching staff wrangled the Hornets bats only allowing one run to score in the sixth inning when Hornets baserunner, Julian Tellez scored from second base off a line-drive single to center field off the bat of Jack Janes. Tellez was on base as a result of the only error of the game by the Rustlers when shortstop, Luke Chung, overthrew the ball over the first baseman’s head putting Tellez in scoring position.
Janes, the only batter to reach base safely each at-bat, went 3 – 3 with a walk in the second inning and three singles.
“I felt really good. My swing felt pretty good today,” stated Janes. “Pitching did a really good job; Pendley and Loera did a really good job throwing strikes today. We as an offense need to score more runs.”
Rustlers starting pitcher Bryce Ruggeroli received his third win of the season and relief pitcher finished the game after only allowing two hits and keeping the Hornets scoreless for the last two innings. Both pitchers combined struck out 13 Hornets batters taking the stinger out of Fullerton’s offensive strategy.
Rustlers Head Coach Bert Villarreal wasn’t concerned about the only error of the game preventing the Hornets from being shut out. Instead, he commended his two pitchers for their effectiveness.
“They pitched very well, they were effective in the zone, they forced contact when they had to and did a good job,” insisted Villarreal. “Things happen and you just got to move on and minimize those things.”
After continuing their five-game losing streak, the Hornets are now placed 0 – 4 overall in the Orange Empire Conference. They will hopefully continue this series with game two supposed to be happening on Thursday, Mar. 12 unless the weather conditions turn for the worse.
If the weather cooperates, the first pitch at Golden West College in Huntington Beach will be at 2 p.m.